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BNDES to Spend $93 Million on Brazil Cisterns to Combat Drought

July 4 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico & Social, Brazil’s development bank, will spend 210 million reais ($93.4 million) building water tanks to help the nation’s northeast region combat the worst drought in 50 years.

The funds will go towards construction of 64,000 cisterns in eight states for low-income families by the middle of next year, the Rio de Janeiro-based state lender said in a statement on its website. BNDES will provide 126 million reais to install 12,000 tanks in a first phase.

More than 90 percent of the 1,133 municipalities in Brazil’s semi-arid region, which includes the whole northeast and the north of Minas Gerais state, have declared a state of emergency due to water shortages, according to the statement.

The program was created by the Ministry of Social Development & Fight Against Hunger and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, according to the statement.

The cisterns will include concrete tanks capable of storing 52,000 liters or pits lined with plastic, BNDES said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephan Nielsen in Sao Paulo at snielsen8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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